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Players with the Kansas City Current hope to make impact with cancer patients at Saint Luke's

Current to host Orlando in "KC Kicks Cancer" match this Sunday
KC Current at St. Luke's
Posted at 7:16 PM, Jul 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-27 00:05:09-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Instead of one-on-one soccer drills, the Kansas City Current took to one-on-one conversations at Saint Luke's Country Club Plaza location Tuesday.

Kristen Edmonds, Jaycie Johnson, and Izzy Rodriguez visited the Infusion Center at the hospital's cancer institute as patients received cancer treatments.

They shared laughs, and experiences.

"My mom and dad both had cancer twice," Edmonds said in one conversation with a patient. My mom had breast cancer twice, and then my dad had colon cancer and throat cancer as recently as last year."

Her teammates shared similar stories ahead of what will be an emotional match this Sunday.

The Current play their "KC Kicks Cancer" contest against Orlando at Children's Mercy Park, when many names will be on players' and fans' minds, like Jill Pehlman, one of the patients the team visited.

"I was diagnosed right off the bat with stage 4, so I've been with the cancer center ever since," Pehlman said.

That was more than three years ago, and she's still fighting.

"I've never said 'Why me?' I've never said 'Why this, why now?' I've had a lot of support," she says.

Just a few chairs down the hall, Lenny Cohen's spirits are also up.

"Gives me all kinds of great hope," he says, three months into his fight.

"Get to the operative word which is cure. And that's the game plan, I need to get back on the pickle ball court again and I will," he says.

Tuesday's treatments are another step in the journey for Lenny and Jill, with a lift from their neighbors at the Current.

"Taking their time to meet with cancer patients and to try to deliver their message and to talk about something that a lot of people don't like to talk about is really outstanding," Cohen said. "I think it will help other people who want to shy away from the big C, maybe be a bit more cognizant about what they need to do to stay ahead of the curve on it."

"It's good to see that women's sports are taking off in Kansas City and I'm hoping the community supports them," Pehlman said.

Just like the players, supporting these patients. Sunday's match against the Orlando Pride kicks off at 6 p.m.